The Origin of Islam's Daily Prayers
Muhammad claimed that he was the only one who had prescribed the five times daily prayers as a gift from Allah for believers. Well, not so fast. He got that idea from Salman the Persian. Zoroastrianism, the ancient pre-Islamic religion of Iran, long before Islam, had praying five times a day. The only difference is that Zoroastrians did not face a specific direction. They faced in any direction. Muhammad wanted Muslims to face Mecca.
Salman Farsi (Salman the Persian) was another opportunist who flocked to Mohammad seeking his favor. In return, he shared with Muhammad a great many Zoroastrian teachings, which Muhammad adopted, as he did with information from the Bible.
Look at some of the similarities between the Zoroastrian's prayer times and false sects of so-called Islam. Names were slightly changed, but the basic concepts are there. Hadithic prayer times are near dawn (fajr), just after noon (dhuhr), in the afternoon (asr), just after sunset (maghrib) and around nightfall (isha'a).
Followers of Zoroastrianism believe that there is only one god, called Ahura Mazda, and a rival called Ahura Mainyu, the spirit of evil forces. They believe that there is an eternal battle between good and evil, where good will ultimately be victorious, and that humanity has to participate in the battle.
Muslims believe that there is only one God (Allah) and no other God. They believe that the purpose of human life is to live according to Allah's wishes. This pie-in-the-sky paradise of Allah, Muhammad intimated, includes, among other things, rivers of milk and honey as well as 72 virgins for every male. The invasion of Persia was only the start of the tenacious scourge of Islam. The followers of Islam believe that Muhammad was the "seal of prophets" – i.e., the last and greatest of all messengers of Allah.
A Quick Review of History
Nearly 1,400 years ago, the followers of Muhammad (united and ready to die) came from the Arabian desert and conquered Iran (Persia), one of the greatest and most ancient of empires. With that, they did their best to destroy one of the most benevolent religions of all time, Zoroastrianism, often called the mother of all revealed religions.
Early Arab looting whetted their appetites, and they started venturing for places and people more prosperous. The Persian Empire next door was ripe for the picking. The people had basically abandoned living by the magnificent teachings of Zoroaster and allowed the highly corrupt Zoroastrian priests to drag them into an abyss of superstition and sloth. The Zoroastrian priests had basically taken over, running and ruining the government. The Sassanid dynasty had become decadent and weak.
How did it happen?
It was this rotten state of affairs in Persia that prompted sycophants and opportunists such as Salman Farsi (Salman the Persian) to turn, like flies to honey, to emerging power patrons such as Muhammad. Just to let the reader understand, Zoroastrianism is one of the most ancient monotheistic religions, devoid of idol-worship. Zoroaster said there is one Creator and his angels and one Devil and his demons. You should choose the right side, or, plainly, "do the right thing." Five-times daily prayers originated in the Zoroastrianism faith and were practiced for centuries before Islam showed up some 2,000 years later.
Let's see what Muhammad said in his earlier life when he was meek: lakom deeno kom, va leah-ul-deen. "To you your religion, and to me mine." Well, he announced those words when he was absolutely powerless and lived in Macca. But when he moved to Medina, he then set out to decimate people of other religions, such as the "people of the book." When they refused to become his followers, they were murdered or became dhimmis, subject to jizya, or extra religious taxes.
Destruction of Persian Arts and Artifacts
After the conquest of Persia, Muslims did what Muslims do best. They plundered everybody and everything. They burned all the libraries in that period. Much of Persia's previous culture was completely destroyed.
Zoroastrian places of worship were desecrated, shrines were destroyed, and mosques were built in their places. Gradually, an increasing number of laws were passed that regulated Zoroastrian behavior and limited their ability to participate in society. Over time, the persecution of Zoroastrians became widespread, and the number of believers decreased by force significantly. Many, fearing persecution and death by ruthless and merciless Arabs, left Iran for a safe haven in India. Those who stayed were given dhimmi status and subjected to persecutions, discrimination, and harassment.
Until the Arab invasion and subsequent Muslim conquest, in the mid-7th century, Persia was a politically independent state, spanning from Mesopotamia to the Indus River and dominated by a Zoroastrian majority.
It goes without saying that political nature of Islam demanded that a conquered people not only convert to Islam, but also regard its history as a time of darkness before the light of Islam came. This is one of the reasons why Iran's ancient history mostly was recorded by the Greeks and Jews.
In short, like many stories in the Quran, five-times prayers a day was plagiarized from Zoroastrianism.